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Topic: Belt Tensioners

in Forum: C4 General Discussion


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Belt Tensioners (1/7)
 7/26/23 3:55pm
Johnnymonz19
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Philadelphia, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1990 C4 Coupe - Charcoal Metallic


Joined: 10/3/2022
Posts: 3

Hello all, have a stock 90 L98. Have had it for a year, already been through 2 belt tensioners. Is this simply because the parts are crappy as GM no longer makes the tensioner for my year Vette, or could something else be happening that is literally wreaking havoc on my belt tensioners? 

Also, any recommendations on finding better quality tensioners? 

Any help greatly appreciated. 

 

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Re: Belt Tensioners (2/7)
 7/26/23 10:47pm
Adams' Apple
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Duncanville, TX - USA

Vette(s):
1985 Coupe-L98/Auto,Bright Red/Carmine. 1974 Coupe-L48/4speed, Medium Red Metallic/Black Deluxe.


Joined: 3/18/2009
Posts: 2232

What is the failure on them? Loosing tension, or the bearing failing? Are you certain you have the correct belt? The wrong belt length can cause premature failure of the tensioner. 

As far as quality is concerned, it's a crap shoot from any supplier, even GM. I've had to replace the fuel pump in my '85 SIX times in the past 2 years. Last one lasted less than and hour of run time. I finally broke down and got a Delco pump...so far it has lasted about 3 months without failing....holding my breath on it, too....



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Re: Belt Tensioners (3/7)
 7/27/23 12:30pm
manchester
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Equinunk, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1993 LT1 convertible triple black 4L60 2003 Zo6 Electron/Black 6 sp


Joined: 11/12/2017
Posts: 60

I have ordered DELCO parts intentionally to eliminate failure. But, when they arrive, even from a GM dealer in my town, they are in a box labeled MADE IN REPUBLIC OF CHINA.  They should all be smashed on the R.O.C. That includes all the parts that the company that uses that ROCK name. Nuff said! 

Re: Belt Tensioners (4/7)
 8/9/23 11:51am
Barn find
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Lakeville, MA - USA

Vette(s):
1987 convertible


Joined: 4/19/2014
Posts: 23

Well, Im going to curse myself but here we go.  I did not buy Delco because unfortunately its all crap now, I did not by Dayco because I hear mixed reviews. I found a gates tensioner that looks IDENTICAL to the original (I believe) that was on the car. One year and.....here comes the curse, no issues. 

Re: Belt Tensioners (5/7)
 8/9/23 2:11pm
Johnnymonz19
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Philadelphia, PA - USA

Vette(s):
1990 C4 Coupe - Charcoal Metallic


Joined: 10/3/2022
Posts: 3

Thanks so much for getting back to me. I think I have the correct belt size. The springs in the tensioners just fail. I do notice there is quite a bit of play on the tensioner arm (an inch or so) during idle. Not sure if that's normal or not. 

Re: Belt Tensioners (6/7)
 8/23/23 3:35pm
Phat98
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Crystal Springs, MS - USA

Vette(s):
1973 Mille Miglia Red LS5 1981 Claret Red 1982 White 1985 Silver Metallic 1988 Yellow 1993 Torch Red ZR-1 1994 Torch Red Coupe LT1 1996 Dark Purple Metallic LT4 2000 Torch Red 2001 Light Pewter 2003 Z06 Millennium Yellow 2009 Atomic Orange


Joined: 7/29/2011
Posts: 33

Check the tracking of the belt, straight and properly aligned with the pulleys. I'd also check the harmonic balancer, if it's loose or wobbling it can play hell with the belt and tensioner. 



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1973 Mille Miglia Red LS5 - SOLD
1981 Dark Claret Metallic - SOLD
1982 White
94 Torch Red LT1
96 Dark Purple Metallic LT4
02 Black Convertible - SOLD
03 Millennium Yellow Z06
09 Atomic Orange Z51
 
Re: Belt Tensioners (7/7)
 8/28/23 11:00pm
snapper 23
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Vette(s):
1991 corvette convertible, yellow in color, black interior with a 6 speed tranny..


Joined: 7/3/2011
Posts: 13

I have had good results from Gates products.  I had to order a water pump and went with the Gates.  I used a Gates belt and tensioner when I did the job since I had everything apart.   Their is now some time on the clock since a changed them and all is well.   I find that you get a good selection from the online parts companies and they usually list the better parts from the economy parts.   Don’t forget to change your antifreeze at least every 3 years no matter the miles you put on.   The rust inhibitor’s and the additives that keep the seals and water pump bearing lubricated start to breakdown around that time.   Antifreeze is cheap compared to mechanic prices today.    Stay safe and enjoy the ride.  

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